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tv   News  Al Jazeera  February 17, 2016 12:00pm-12:31pm EST

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and speak. [ cheers and applause ] ♪ a large explosion is heard in the turkish capitol with reports of many people injured. ♪ hello, i'm marry ann, also coming up. on the move, the first convoy of aid reaches besieged villages in syria. and apple says it will resist a court order demanding that it help the fbi hack into its suspect's iphone.
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♪ we begin this hour with breaking news coming to us from turkey, where there are reports of a powerful explosion in the capitol ankara. the news agency says the explosion happened near military lodgings. turkish police say the blast was caused by a vehicle exploding, and there are reports that a large number of people have been injured. zana hoda is in a turkish city and joins us live now. zana, what is the latest you are hearing about this? >> reporter: well, this happened just a short while ago, so the information is still sketchy. but we do know an explosion has rocked the turkish capitol. initial reports suggesting that a car bomb was responsible, and the target were military
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personnel in a vehicle very close to a military la lawn -- lodging this any area. there are casualties, we understand a number of wounded. this is not the first time we have seen an explosion in ankara, a new months ago there was an explosion, but the target was not the military. a new months ago there was an international peace rally, organized by the kurds. who was responsible? there has been no claim of responsibility. we can only speculate. what i can tell you is the situation in turkey, and turkey is at war with a number of groups, one of them is the pkk. they have targeted the military in the past, and like i mentioned, the turkish military has been pounding their positions from the skies in the southeast of the country, as well as in northern iraq, and as of late, really, over the past
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few months, they have been engaged in urban war fair with the pkk in a b in of southeastern towns, and as of late, turkish artillery have been pounding positions of the syrian kurdish ypg, believed to be linked to the pkk. reports of an explosion in the turkish capitol, reports of casualties, and reports that the target was military personnel. but we're trying to get more information. >> yes, details are still coming into us about the circumstances surrounding this attack zana. this would be, what, the third or fourth major bombing in turkey since july. there have been several over the last six months. do -- you have been spending a bit of time in turkey. you have been obviously following developments along the turkish syrian border. do you sense there is a real fear about possible instability. unrest, about the general security situation in turkey
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right now, coming not just from, you know, the internal battle against the kurds in the southeast, but also coming from -- you know, fears about spillover from developments in syria. >> undoubtedly people are afraid. four explosions, the last one was in january. that was in istanbul. suicide bomber was involved. at the time the turkish government blamed isil. the target in the heart, really, of istanbul's historic center. turkey is also at war with isil. a few months earlier, like i mentioned, the bombing in ankara, targeting a kurdish peace rally. at the time the kurds said that the turkish authorities were not doing enough to protect them. before that, another bombing in a border town close to the syrian border. again, the kurds were targeted and that really -- kurdish political parties accused the
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authorities of not doing enough. they blamed isil. turkey is at war with isil, with the ypg inside syria, undoubtedly the syrian conflict has spilled over into turkey. turkey has a syria policy. it supports opposition groups inside. and like i mentioned as of late it has been targeting pyg positions inside syria. we cannot speculate who was behind this attack, but like i mentioned, turkey is involved in several conflicts with several different players, both inside syria and inside turkey. >> thank you very much for now zana hoda monitoring developments there for us in turkey. just to recap what we have been hearing in the past few minutes, a vehicle exploding, so a significant explosion in the turkish capitol, ankara. we understand that there have been a number of injuries, there may have been casualties. we understand the turkish
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broadcaster saying the explosion happened near passing van carrying military personnel. so the military appears to be the target of this attack. the -- turkey news agency saying the explosion happened near military lodgings, and this isn't the first bit of violence we have seen in turkey. this will probably be the fourth major attack in the country in the last six months. of course we know the turkish government is engaged with the pkk in the southeast, and also fears coming from -- possible fears about isil, and the security situation being effected by events in syria. so we'll continue to stay across that for you. meanwhile the first truck carrying aid has arrived in a besieged town in syria. it is one of more than a hundred vehicles loaded with food, water, and medical relief.
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the trucks spent most of wednesday parked on the highway waiting for the go ahead to start moving. the syrian red crescent had 75 trucks heading to the south. 29 trucks are heading to idlib and two other villages encircled by rebel forces, and further aid is to be sent by a town surrounded by isil. elsewhere in syria, three people have been pulled alive from the ruins of a hospital more than 30 hours after air strikes brought it crashing down. the medical charity, doctors without borders says one is a nurse, and confirmed all three have injuries. rescue workers have been searching through what was left of the building since it was hit by air strikes on monday.
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the planes that bombed it are believed to have been russian, although moscow has denied this. ♪ now china has been accused of deploying surface to air missiles on a disputed eye land in the south china sea. taiwan says an unspecified number of missiles have been placed on woody island. this previous image of woody island shows considerable development by china, including a runway. the island is also claimed by taiwan and vietnam. beijing also plays to other islands which says are within its territorial waters, as marked by the red line. this is all much to the anger of the nearby philippines, and other countries.
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>> there is every evidence, every day that there has been an increase of militarization of one kind or another. it's a serious concern. we have had these conversations with the chinese, and i am confident that over the next days, we will have further, very serious conversation on this, and my hope is that china will realize that it is important to try to resolve the jurisdiction issues of the south china sea not through unilateral action, but through diplomacy, and by working with the other countries and claim anns in trying to resolve these differences. >> reporter: woody island, has been in beijing's hands since 1974. in 2012, china formally declared a city on this tiny speck of
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land, home to more than a thousand people. now according to taiwan, which claims the island eye long with vietnam, it is home to two advanced surface to air missile batteries. china's foreign minister blamed the western media's appetite for creating news stories, but didn't deny in so many words that the claims were true. >> translator: as for the facilities that china has built, stationed by chinese personnel, this is consistent with self preservation and self protection that china is entitled to under international law. >> reporter: for what china is self-defense. the united states sees as militarization. the u.s. navy has twice sailed warships in the area. president obama has promised more of the same. >> i think it's clear that this is part of a trajectory towards china preparing these islands for possible deployment of
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either military fighters or missiles and this has been the great fear in washington, that this would deny these areas of the ability of u.s. navy ships and other navy ships to deploy freely without the threat of the use of force. >> reporter: taiwan's president elect is due to take in office in may. she has called for self destrant. japan issued a sterner rebuke. >> translator: china is trying to change the situation and increase tensions in the south china sea by carrying out extensive land reck cla makes, building maces in the region. we have deep concerns over such actions, and want to emphasize that japan cannot accept this. >> reporter: the tensions extend here to the korean peninsula as well, after north korea's cent nuclear test and rocket launch, the u.s. is in talking with south korea about deploying an american anti-missile system
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here. that's something beijing is opposed to seeing it as a direct threat to its own military interests. that's hardly an unintended side effect, seoul and washington want to pressure china to reign in its ally in pyongyang. on monday stealth fighters were demonstrating what it calls defending its ally in the sew of force. harry fawcett, al jazeera, seoul. more on the bombing in the turkish capitol, ankara now. turkish tv saying the explosion took place near a van carrying military personnel in the turkish capitol. so it would appear the turkish military was the target of the attack. let's bring you some of the pictures we're getting. the news agency says the explosion happened near military
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lodgings, and turkish police say the blast was caused by a vehicle exploding. there you can see large plumes of smoke, a lot of activity in the area that has been the target of the attack. police are on the scene. the ambulance is on the scene. you can hear sirens are whaling. and security forces are there as well. and it would appear there is a fire also raging there in ankara, where a vehicle exploded. zana hoda is monitoring the developments for us. and we have an update from the governor of ankara on casualties, zana? >> reporter: yes, the governor saying that five people were killed and ten injured. also mentioning that the explosion was caused by a car bomb. the target, like you mentioned, the military. military personnel who were in a week very close to a military lodging. this is really in the heart of
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the turkish capitol. clearly, a message to the turkish government, a message to the president, a message to the military. there has been no claim of responsibility. we cannot speculate, but most observers on local television channels, saying that this could be the work of the pkk or the work of isil. the turkish military is at war with these two groups. the pkk since last july, the government has been targeting its positions in northern iraq and southeastern turkey, and it has been involved in urban war fair in the southeast. the turkish military tightening control of the borders, making it difficult for isil to cross between turkey and syria. no claim of responsibility. cannic in the capitol. a clear message that we can you in your heart, in your seat of power. this is the fourth major
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explosion in the last few months. people are worried, worried about the security in one way or the other, the conflict in syria has spilled over in -- in turkey. >> yes, major concerns about an internal security situation with the kurds, zana, also worries about the civil war in syria. you have been spending a great deal of time on the syria-turkey border. what can you tell us about turkish military movements along that border? can you tell us more about what they have been doing to, i suppose, address security concerns. >> reporter: well, yes, as of late, we have seen the turkish military reinforce their positions along the border for a number of reasons. first taking control of areas where the border is shared with isil-controlled territory, but what we have seen in the last few days is the turkish military targeting ypg positions inside
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syria. the ypg group linked to the pkk, for the turkish government those two groups are terrorist organizations. and it says that the ypg has crossed the red line, and that's why they are targeting them. they don't want them to expand their territory in northern syria. they are afraid that they are going to link their enclaves in aleppo province to areas they control in the east. they are already controlling more than half of syrian territory along turkey's border. so that has been happening on the ground, again, we cannot point fingers on any group, because no one has claimed responsibility. but many observers are saying the very fact that the military was chosen as a target, could somehow link the pkk to this attack. because they have targeted the military in the past, especially over the past few decades,
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turkish security positions across the southeast. but this undoubtedly is a major attack in the heart of -- of the capitol. >> it's a major attack in the heart of the capitol, and actually turkey's ruling party, a spokesman is saying that the explosion in ankara was an act of terrorism, so perhaps that hasn't come as any great surprise. of course we know this could be an act of terrorism eventually contributed to internal or external actors, but if we look at what has been happening along that border, and turkish concerns about the ypg gaining more territory in northern syria, do we know -- any clue as to how far the turkish military are willing to go, zana? shelling is one thing, but would there be something more extensive, on the ground
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engagements in northern syria by the turks? >> well, at the moment turkey is in a very difficult position. the international community is not standing by it, because at the end of the day, if ground forces cross into syrian territory, russia controls the skies, and when the russian plane was shot down by the turkish air force in november, russia deployed anti-aircraft defenses and clearly a message to turkey and the rest of the world, they impose a no-fly zone in area. to turkey's hands are tied at the moment inside syria, apart from shelling, there is little it can do. turkey has been appealing to the international community for years, really, to impose a no-fly zone, or a safe zone along the border, and they reiterated that appeal today. the response from russia was very clear that will not happen. that will never happen without the support of the u.n. and
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without the support of the damascus government. their approval, and we do know that russia has veto power at the u.n. security council. so apart from shelling, it will be very difficult to see ground forces entering. we have heard nato officials express concern if turkey does take action, it will be unilateral action. so for the time being, it is continuing to shell ypg positions inside northern syria. >> they have been continuing to shell those positions, and of course one thing that has been of great concern to the turkish government is the fact that certain towns like azaz, which was previously seen as red lines, and the air base as well in northern syria, these red lines have been crossed. >> reporter: well, yes, turkey made it clear azaz is a red line. azaz is a border town a few
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kilometers from the border crossing. it really is the main opposition base. it lies on the main highway linking turkey to aleppo city. it says it is a red line. the ypg and their sources are on the outskirts of that town, and the spokesman telling us very clearly the other day, we don't have any red lines, and we're not even concerned about turkey's warnings. he said we will continue to take ground, because he is justifying this as part -- in the fight against isil. they are saying they need to push towards the east so thigh can reach isil-controlled a territory and continue the fight. but it's very important to mention relationship between the turkish government and the u.s. administration has been deteriorating because we heard the president erdogan today repeat the same sentence he has been repeating for days.
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telling the obama administration, you need to make a choice. are you with us or with the ypg, because the u.s. provides support to the ypg, because it has been a credible and reliable partner for the u.s.-lead coalition until syria. so the u.s. telling turkey, these are our allies we will continue to support them. so the relationship with the united states worsening, the relationship with russia worsening, and turkey is finding itself caught in the whole syrian crisis, and the crisis has spilled over the border. >> and we know that will be featuring very heavily in the thinking of officials there, and many people in the wake of this bombing in the turkish capitol, ankara, now. zana thank you. we are now speaking to our
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analyst on the phone from ankara. can you give us your initial thoughts on this bombing? if you can hear me, i was just asking you about your reaction to this bombing in the capitol, ankara. i'm not sure if you can hear me. but just wanted to get your thoughts on the circumstances surrounding this attack, who might have been behind this attack. okay. we'll get back to her a little bit later on. we'll try to reestablish a connection with her, and try to get her thoughts on what we're seeing unfold right now in ankara. these are some of the latest pictures coming to us from local tv there. an explosion taking place in the turkish capitol. we understand the military was the target of this bombing. some of the pictures we have
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seen suggest security forces are on the seen, we have seen ambulances, police, also a fire is raging there. the turkish police have confirmed -- security forces have confirmed that it was a car bombing, and there you can see plumes of smoke rising above the city, people, civilance have been cleared from the area, but security forces are on the seen. so local turkish tv saying it was a car bomb attack on military personnel. also hearing that it was an attack on military lodging. so this was an attack aimed at the military itself. the ruling party of turkey says they are treating this explosion in ankara, as an act of terrorism, and we have had an update on casualties, from the governor, who says five have
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been killed, ten have been injured in the explosion, though they failed to say whether those killed and injured are civilians or soldiers, members of the military, but there you can see that ambulances are on the scene to deal with what we have been seeing, an explosion there in ankara. but let's bring you some of the other stories we're covering as well. the u.n. says it is concerned about hundreds of iraqi civilians stranded by fighting in the north of the country. more than 500 sunni arabs are caught near the town of sinjar. imran khan reports. >> reporter: back in november kurdish peshmerga forces and the u.s.-lead coalition took back sinjar. it has been occupied by isil since august 2014. it was seen as a crucial victory against the group but not for everyone.
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sunni arab villagers found themselves trapped. kurdish peshmerga forces became suspicious of them, believing they were isil sympathizers. the u.n. says nearly 560 sunni arabs are facing a desperate situation. >> around mid-november last year, about 1,900 individuals who were arab sunnis, had fled from their village and got trapped between the front lines of the peshmerga and isil located about a kilometer or two kilometers away from them. >> but that's an accusation that the kurdish regional government denies. >> what we reject is the generalization of the topic of the report. when it says that peshmergas are
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surrounding the civilians, arab sunni civilians. i have cases of hundred thousand civilians. even today civilians have passed these front lines. >> reporter: despite the denial it is clear there is significant tension. what we have been told off of the record by some sources is that these people aren't being allowed to move because they are seen as having collaborated with isil. whatever the truth of the matter is, it just goes to show you that both sides eye each other with suspicion. thousands of people have gathered at an opposition rally in kosovo. they are demanding that the government resign. it comes as kosovo marks eight years since declaring independence from serbia. >> reporter: another opposition rally here is over, but the demands from the opposition
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representatives remain. they are asking for the immediate resignation from the kosovo prime minister and the resignation from the foreign minister. the main reason for the protest in the last several months and today is the argument reached with serbia in april 2013 and confirmed again in august 2015 that agreements aimed at formation of the association of the serbian municipalities here. people say they have very bitter experience with the serbian statehood, and that's why they are strongly opposed to that idea. they are also saying that organizations that aims at establishing association of the serbian municipalities here is unconstitutional and confirmed by the constitutional court in kosovo which says that that agreement is unconstitutional. also, it is fair to say that not only people who were voting for the opposition showed up at this protest today. many were celebrating the
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independence day here in the streets, and then decided to stay at the opposition rally. so not only people from the opposition party, but people from all parties showed up here from all over kosovo, to show their dissatisfaction with this agreement aimed at normalizing relationships. more on our breaking news story, a large explosion on the turkish capitol ankara. we can speak to a military analyst from defense weekly. she is on the phone now from ankara. can you tell us what you might be hearing about this attack. >> the attack -- the powerful bomb blast was herds towards the closure of the business hours in ankara this evening, around 6:15, and it was so powerful, the bomb blast, you could heard it all over the turkish capitol
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city, ankara. the ankara governor said that nine died, ten injured in the blast so far. but it has taken place in the heart of ankara, close to the military and government offices, and the governor said they are suspected of bomb laden vehicle which blasted when a military service car -- convoy cars, buses were stopped at the red light of the -- close to the military building. and the government condemn it, and said this is an act of terrorism. however earlier the [ inaudible ] turkey has outlawed the terrorist group, warned ankara, that it may
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target the main city in turkey as the urban warfare in turkey has been continuing, and no group has claimed responsibility, but there is suspicions of pkk might be behind this attack. you are watching our breaking news coverage of a blast in ankara, turkey. we'll have more on that in just a bit. but we're also tracking a story coming out of california. apple refuses to hack a phone that was used by one of the san bernardino, california shooters. ♪ and pushing the pope to anger. the leader of the catholic church visits the u.s.-mexican border, but not before scolding the crowds. ♪

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